Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hanshin wins Japan Series for first time in 38 years…

The Hanshin Tigers, a professional baseball team based in Japan’s Kansai region, have won the Japan Series for the first time in 38 years.

Hanshin swept the fellow Kansai-based team and Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes 7-1 in Game 7 of the Japan Series on Friday at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan.

Hanshin swept the Oryx four games to three and lifted the Japan Series trophy for the second time in 38 years and the first time in franchise history since 1985.

Manager Akinobu Okada, 65, who won the Central League title in 2005 under Hanshin’s first stewardship but lost a four-game series to the Chiba Lotte Mariners in the Japan Series, which was dominated by Lee Seung-yeop (now manager of the Doosan Bears in the Korean Baseball Organization), won the Central League title for the first time in 18 years and the Japan Series title for the first time in 38 years upon taking the helm of the Tiger Army for the second time this year.

Hanshin broke open a 0-0 tie in the top of the fourth inning with a leadoff single and a walk to put runners on first and second before foreign-born slugger Sheldon Noiji hit a three-run home run to left field.

Back-to-back singles in the top of the fifth put runners on second and third with Shota Morishita singling to left, Yusuke Oyama’s infield single to shortstop, and Noiji’s RBI single up the middle to put the game out of reach.

Morishita capped the scoring in the ninth with an RBI single to center field.

With a 6-0 lead and runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, manager Hanshin Okada pulled starter Koyo Aoyagi and brought up Hiroya Shimamoto to lock down the game.

He then brought in starter Masashi Ito, who has 10 wins this year, as his third pitcher from the sixth inning and pitched three shutout innings before sending out specialty relievers Takuma Kirishiki and Suguru Iwazaki in the ninth to seal the win.

After the victory, the Hanshin players celebrated by holding up Shintaro Yokota’s jersey with the number 24 on the back. Yokota was a former Hanshin player who passed away at the young age of 28 from a brain tumor in July of this year.

The Oryx, who have played in the Japan Series for three consecutive years, celebrated last year, but lost to Jakarta Swallows in 2021 and Hanshin this year.

Katsuhiro Miyamoto, a professor emeritus at Kansai University who specializes in Japanese sports economics, estimated that the economic impact of Hanshin’s first Central League title in 18 years would reach ¥87.2 billion ($765.4 billion) in the Kansai region alone, and ¥96.9 billion ($856 billion) across Japan, far exceeding the economic impact of Japan’s win at this year’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) (¥65.4 billion).

The economic impact estimate is expected to rise further if Hanshin wins the Japan Series. 먹튀검증

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